other day Tigg and I were driving behind a car with a collection
of idiotic bumper stickers. He probably would tell you he has
a right to express his opinion. In my opinion he wasn’t expressing
much… just proving ignorance and a few other words I’d rather
not type. But for some reason or another, I was mad about these
stickers. I’m not easily offended… but these seemed unnecessary.
Seriously, it’s not the words or the images that bothered me.
While I try to keep this web site a bit on the family-friendly
side at times, the fact is if you are emotionally scarred for
life by seeing Janet Jackson’s boobs on national television, you
need help for a checklist of issues. And the same thing is true
for commercials and television shows, radio broadcasts and bumper
I need to acknowledge that we live in a society where media… media…
media matters almost always more than content. So you get protesters
waving paper and making phone calls and clicking send on their
e-mails when a show runs at 8pm with a swear or suggestive comment.
Because that protest gets articles written and reporters on the
news. But a year later, when the syndicated broadcast comes on
at 6pm, no one cares and it hasn’t been edited.
fact… I’ve watched some shows broadcast with blurry strips during
prime time first runs, only to be clean and perfectly in focus
during earlier evening hours just a few months later.
I’m just looking for some sort of acknowledgement about polite
conversation. And this guy’s truck went over a line for me. Do
cartoon Calvin’s peeing on Ford logos really count as freedom
of speech? I mean, come on, are there really people that feel
so strongly about these expressions that when their driving has
crossed the border into reckless, their request that I dial 1-800-eat-shit
is a Constitutionally protected right? I need to see this?
more to the point…
do I even care?
Well... for one reason... I care because of television.
no… not the shows. The commercials. Take this pill… take that
pill… and so many of them with a wink-wink or a nudge-nudge, not
so subtle and definitely unnecessary.
do these wonderful protectors of our best interests go after things
like these pharmaceutical commercials? Of course not. These companies
can tell me that a side effect lasting more than four hours needs
medical attention any time of day they want to… basically, apparently,
provided that they don’t show a full-frontal actual photograph
of the side effect.
Oh but boy howdy… language. These folks do so love going after
Gordon Ramsay swearing on television and politicians
are calling for investigations. And the story about Ramsay is
just one example.
At first I felt a bit torn on this subject. After all, when I
watch an episode of Family Guy and find it hysterical,
and then want to tell people to just change the channel or turn
the television off if they have a problem with it… then maybe
I’m not the one in the best position to say those stickers aren’t
appropriate. And heck, I laughed my ass off the other morning
when Al Roker managed to hold it together after Meredith Vieira
informed him she was a bit moist. (It was misting out folks… get
your mind back on the subject at hand.)
it hit me. There is a difference between being offensive and being
polite… a difference between freedom of expression and trampling
on others. And I’m not wrong for believing that many things cross
that line, and often some of the ones seemingly crossing it aren’t
the ones doing the real harm. Life happens. People swear. Young
kids see naked adults. But how about a bit of context… a bit of
situation… a bit of reality when considering if nudity… if swearing…
if life is obscene? Because I have to tell you… I’ve gone to museums
and seen statues of Venus… and there were times when I wasn’t
hypnotized by that statue because it was art.
the line? Well… it’s something I thought about a few years ago
when I was writing a few comments about Howard Stern. Basically,
at the time, I said the really funny thing about people complaining
about Howard is that those people essentially got exactly what
they expected to get. Very few people were turning in to Howard
by accident and suddenly being upset (when he was on the old-time
radio stations). Most of those complaining zeroed in on his broadcast
on purpose, waiting for him to say something a bit controversial,
and then complained when he did. Which to me is a bit like getting
upset with a baby for creating a messy diaper... come on, what
did you really expect?
bumper stickers give me no choice… no warning… they simply appear.
could go on for a while. After all, Janet’s pierced nipple simply
appeared as well if we want to get technical and really argue
my attempt at a definition. But the fact remains… most of this
stuff isn’t really harming anyone. All I’m asking for is a bit
more consideration for the time and place.
go ahead… piss on a Dodge emblem and tell me to shove it. That’s
fine. I’m even good if you want to display an inflatable
rat. I’ve got no problem with that. Just please… please…
stop with the commercials of bathtubs on top of a hill in the
middle of the baseball scores.